2020 New Normal

Reader Contribution by Staff
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Photo by Tammy Gann/Unsplash

For many of us, life’s focus has shifted a great deal recently, and we are collectively waking up to explore our new normal. The world around us is changing and adapting to conditions we never expected. Entering into this time, I found myself immediately grateful for the vast array of interests my family has. Interests and hobbies that aren’t dependent on socializing or public outtings, and an abundance of hard work waiting to be done to improve our home and cultivate the talents within us.

It’s a perfect time to improve on existing skills or learn something new entirely. Tackle that reading you have been putting off for a slow day or spend extra time learning how something works (see Page 8 to learn about a Weidenhoff 818 magnet charger).

That’s not to say, many things cannot be replaced. Public events such as engine shows and fairs, swap meets and auctions, and dining out — where there aren’t dirty dishes or cleanup following the meal. I’m sure you have your list of things you have been missing. Someday those things will resume and be more appreciated.

To make the best of this extra time, it seems staying busy at home and distracted from the barrage of upsetting world news works best for us. We are spending our time wisely, tying up loose ends that were left undone previously with the excuse “there just isn’t enough time.” The shift to warmer weather is always a busy time for us, with the landscape (and weeds) unfurling, our flock of chickens needing tended to, and our large family garden plot needing worked and harvested. Add to that list the never ending repairs life tends to throw our way — a cracked hose on the truck, a bent deck and dull blades on the riding mower, a broken roost bar in the chicken coop, and a drain pump in the washer no longer doing its job. These things were once frustrations but now welcome new puzzles offering both distraction and life lessons that need to be researched and solved.

Having hobbies, responsibilities and the DIY gene keeps us moving forward — even if it seems life is temporarily standing still. When things slow down and you have extra time on your hands, it’s nice to have a few unfinished projects to turn to.

When all else fails, retreat to the garage, put on your favorite tunes and tidy up the ol’ work bench. For me, there’s something truly therapeutic about organizing my tools and sorting through extra hardware. Knowing what you have and where to find it can make a restoration or repair go much more smoothly. If you suffer from sharing a work space, as I do, I highly recommend not moving Mama’s power tools if you want to be fed in the near future.

In this issue, we share stories about engines in various stages of repair — from a rusty barn find to the second installment in an ongoing Jacobsen restoration, as well a look revisiting an exemplary Coolspring Power Museum piece. What tinkering have you been doing to pass the time and fuel your gas engine enthusiasm? Share your stories and pictures with us!

–Christine Stoner

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